Thursday, October 16, 2014

Consider Hiring an Older Skilled Worker

Until recently, companies had smaller budgets, which led to some people being promoted into higher positions or management with little experience. However, good workers do not always make effective managers. To stay competitive in today's marketplace, companies now need to make an effort to attract and retain older workers.

Here are some reasons to attract older workers:

A Less Risky Hire
Companies invest many hours and financial resources into the screening, hiring and training of new employees, only to find that many employees leave for “greener pastures” in order to ascend through their career path. Older workers tend to be more interested in stability where younger workers might be more concerned about moving up the corporate ladder as quickly as possible. In addition, making a poor employee selection will cause your management to look poorly upon you and your decision.

They Are Focused
Older people have been working their entire adult life and are often not searching for the next opportunity at another company or a new role like younger workers. They know exactly what they want to do, are typically satisfied with a good work opportunity, and are focused on getting the work done. 

Compared to their younger colleagues, older workers have years of experience you can't teach or replace. Maturity comes from years of life and work experiences, and makes for workers who get less "rattled" when problems occur.

Their years of experience in the workplace give older workers a superior understanding of how jobs can be done more efficiently, which saves companies money. Companies can save the cost of many man hours lost to inefficiency.

Older workers have confidence, built up through the years, which means they won't hesitate to share their ideas with management. People without that confidence may keep their ideas to themselves because of an irrational concern that they won't get credit for their ideas.

Battle Tested 
Many industries are cyclical and older workers have experienced the highs and lows, making them more the wiser. The great recession and housing market crash of 2008 was something the country also experienced in the early 1980s. Old members of the workforce learned valuable lessons that helped them weather the recent economic storm and prepare their companies for the next one.

They Have Strong Networks
Older workers have been in the workforce longer and they've had more time to meet people and network along the way. Hence, they have stronger professional network of clients, vendors, partners and other professionals that serve within their industry.

Reduced Labor Costs 
Some older workers have insurance plans from prior employers or from a spouse/partner. In addition, some have an additional source of income and are willing to take a little less to get the job they want. They understand that working for a company can be about much more than just collecting a paycheck.

I encourage you to leave a comment by clicking on "...comments" below...
David Schuchman

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Not Everyone Wants More Responsibility

As a manager, one of your most important obligations is to make your staff feel truly valued and letting them know that your company, department and you would be worse off without them. In many cases, you recognize the successes of your top performers by giving them more responsibility. However, you must consider that not everyone may want more responsibility.

The Peter Principal
The Peter Principle is named after Laurence J. Peter who co-authored the humorous book, "The Peter Principle: Why Things Always Go Wrong." One of the theories discussed in the book is that management stops promoting employees once they can no longer perform effectively. In some cases, employees have determined their own level of where they perform effectively. Hence, they are hesitant to accept more responsibilities or a promotion when they have reached that point.

They are Happy With Their Current Responsibilities
Hopefully, your staff are good at what they do. In some cases, they are very happy doing the job they have already attained. When that happens, they simply may not want new responsibilities or a different job within the organization.

It will Cost Other Opportunities
Some staff will consider the added responsibility a "dead end", that it will hurt their professional reputation, or that it will cost them other career opportunities. Most people want their next position to allow them to grow their skills and experiences, and to be applicable to their career path. They may turn down responsibilities that contradict their professional vision.

They Recall Their Work History
Some staff have previously been rewarded with new responsibilities. They recalled what their initial and long term performance was when they received it and felt they did not adjust well. They experienced difficulties with the added work, new client interactions, new time demands, etc. Some people do not want new additional responsibilities because they expect it will cause them to become overloaded or unproductive again.

No Offer of a Salary Increase
Some people hesitate to accept new responsibilities when the amount of new work and time demands are not accompanied by added salary. It's not to say that all added responsibilities deserve added salary. You need to reflect on this perception when giving more responsibility.

What are You to Do?
  1. Be sure to give your good performers praise.
  2. Offer new responsibilities to staff. But, do not force it upon them. Let them know why you are making the offer, and discuss how the new responsibilities will benefit their career path in addition to your organization. If they express concerns, assure them that you will be supportive during their transition. In the end, let them make the final decision.
  3. Compensate fairly. If the new responsibilities are worth more to the organization, then it may be justified to align that employee's compensation with the new work opportunity.
  4. Consider that if you team is consistently working at their most productive capacity, it may be time to add staff to your team. You may need to document the team's productivity vs. the work demands in order to make the case to your management.

I encourage you to leave a comment by clicking on "...comments" below...
David Schuchman